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Home EXECUTIVE CHAT Our Mandate is to Make Chery Number One Vehicle in Nigeria-Joseph Omokhapue,...

Our Mandate is to Make Chery Number One Vehicle in Nigeria-Joseph Omokhapue, Sales Director, Carloha

Another Motor Show held in Lagos last weekend. A bit different from the usual, 2024 Lagos Motor Show featured, this time around, classic and other historical vehicles.

But one auto company that stole the show was Carloha Nigeria; a company that has exhibited an unusual resilience towards pursuing its dream of ascending a leadership position in the nation’s auto marketing sector.

Carloha, which recently acquired Chery brand, has, with its actions and marketing language, expressed its readiness to take the brand to the next level.

Fielding questions from Motoring World’s Lagos Bureau Chief, Rotimi Asher on the show ground, the company’s Director, Sales and Marketing, Mr. Joseph Omokhapue, threw lights on why Carloha showcased only Chery vehicles at the event as well as revealed the company’s future plans for the brand.

EXCERPTS  

Good to have you at the show. Is this the first time you are showcasing in an auto show like this?

Answer: Yes, this is the first time. We just got the franchise from Chery Automobile. Of course, this is our first time of showcasing the cars at a major event.

By coming to this event, what goal does Carloha hope to achieve?

Answer: We intend to make Chery the number one vehicle in Nigeria. That is why we did not waste time, when this opportunity came. We want Chery to go round.

Compared with existing competitors, what gives you the confidence that Chery would become attractive to Nigerians?

Answer: We have cars that are compact and affordable. We have Arrizo 5, a sedan in the class of Toyota Corolla that can drive on CNG and petrol. Like you know, CNG is the way to go now. We will come out with electric cars later. The cars have efficient fuel economy and good ground clearance, which make them good for Nigerian roads.

What models are on display at this show?

Answer: The biggest of them is Tiggo 8, a 7 seater car.  Of course, we also have Tiggo 7. There are Tiggo 4, Tiggo 2 and Arrizo 5.

Looking at the level of competition in the Nigerian market, what gives you an assurance that these cars could sail through in Nigeria?

Answer: We have people who are looking for alternatives to the conventional cars. We are giving these cars with their quality at give-away prices. And then they come with six years warranty and free service. We are saying buy these cars and go home and sleep.

What provisions have you for after sales?

Answer: Concerning after sales, right now, apart from what we have in Lagos, we are building workshops in Port Harcourt, Abuja and also in Kano. Meanwhile, we have dealers already, who have workshops we are going to make use of. If you are buying from Port Harcourt or any of the cities, we refer you to the dealers, so that they can deal with the problem.  Of course, we are speaking with major filling stations that are well grounded in the country, where you can go in for your quick service. We are covering the entire country.

I wouldn’t want to mention the name of the filling station now. We are partnering with them because they have a wide reach all over. Wherever the station is, you drive in your car and they will service it for you for free for six years and you can also transfer that to the next buyer within that period.

So, if you own the car for say four years and you intend to sell, you can transfer the warranty and the free service to the buyer.

Are there other benefits you hope to reap after participation in this year’s show?

Answer: Our essence of coming is not to sell but to showcase the cars and tell visitors and everyone alike that Carloha is the major distributor of Chery. There used to be a company distributing Chery in Nigeria. But because of poor management, it disappeared from the marketing scene. We took the brand up and said, yes, we will manage this product and come out a success. So, our presence here is just to showcase.

Apart from partnering with the filling station you mentioned earlier, what other things have you put in place to make your Chery franchise a success story?

Answer: We will be talking to the press. We will be launching this product nationwide and in all the geo-political regions of the country. We are kicking off from where the former dealer stopped. We know the market. We will leverage on our friends from the media. We will tell them what we want to do. If we have any event, we will carry you guys along.

How will you ensure there are enough technical hands to help your customers to keep the cars on the roads?

Answer: We have sent some trainees to China. They have been there since December; training on aftersales. And when they return, they will transfer the knowledge to other people. We are also trying to set up a training school, where guys from other region will come and learn.

After the show, do you have other events in mind to showcase this product?

Answer: Every auto show or relevant events and platform that come up, we want to be there. We want to take this to the next level

Aside Chery, have you plans to add other brands to your line-up?

Answer: As we speak, we have another brand known as Old Yorker, a tractor Company, the same people that produce electric bike. We have brought in Tesla. The Tesla we displayed at this show is brand new. Aside bringing other models of Tesla into the country, we are also trying to leverage on it, because it is a luxury brand.

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